A SIGNIFICANT milestone in building a future for the commercial and recreational fishing industries has been reached with the next phase of Queensland Government’s sustainable fisheries reforms coming into effect on September 1.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner said the changes clarify commercial fishing rules and reporting requirements for fishers, while making fisheries and the industry more sustainable.
“These reforms are the result of years of consultation with industry and the wider public to make sure we have a sustainable fishery for our children and grandchildren,” Mr Furner said.
From September 1, 2021 new harvest strategies and rules will apply for the following fisheries, bringing the total number of fisheries in Queensland under harvest strategy management to 15:
- Blue swimmer crab
- Mud crab
- Marine aquarium fish
- East coast inshore (as well as a protected species management strategy)
- Sea cucumber
- Trawl fin fish (stout whiting)
- Northern, central, southern inshore, southern offshore and Moreton Bay trawl
- Tropical rock lobster.
Fisheries already under harvest strategy management are the reef line and spanner crab.
Mr Furner said the commercial and recreational fishing industries together supported thousands of Queensland jobs and meant hundreds of millions of dollars for the Queensland economy.
“This reform process began with the MRAG review in 2014 and we have continued the reform process to modernise fisheries management in this state,” he said.
“Improved stock monitoring and a more agile regulatory process mean we can make small management adjustments where necessary to ensure long-term sustainability of fish stocks.
“This approach is supported by the science of fisheries management and brings Queensland into line with Federal Government requirements to maintain fishery export permits.”
Mr Furner said there would be a transitional period until December 31 to help fishers adjust to the new reporting requirements.
“Our focus will be on education and assisting fishers with using the system and complying with the new rules,” he said.
“We will work directly with fishers to resolve any operational issues they have in adapting to these changes.
“Enforcement action may be taken however in the case of intentional, repeated or serious non-compliance.”